Pressure on space has also been affected by the rise in multi-generational households (14% higher now than in 2008) meaning that just over 8% of families now live in homes which are officially defined as ‘overcrowded’. London families are the worst affected, with one in three families in Tower Hamlets and Newham living in overcrowded conditions. Outside London, Leicester and Birmingham are the highest ranking with 15% of families living in overcrowded properties.
Since 2008 one in five homeowners have been forced to ‘stretch’ the space in their homes by converting lofts and garages into living areas. An estimated 150,000 children have seen their bedrooms partitioned in two in an attempt to create extra bedrooms.
What puts off UK homehunters? Research by mortgage and secured loan broker Ocean Finance indicates that 60% of adults in the UK consider safety to be one of the three most important factors when considering where to live – half would also put finding somewhere quiet as a main priority. Other factors considered important included availability of parking (35%), closeness of family and local public transport links (both 27%), and being near schools or within a catchment area (25%).
When asked to select the two criteria which would most put them off a property, being located in an area known for crime came top, with 72% of adults saying this would discourage them. Areas of high crime were followed by being near a sewage works (43%) and being under a flight path or near an airport (25%).
John Lennon’s Surrey home for sale Pictured above, the six bedroom mansion on St George’s Hill Estate in Weybridge where John Lennon lived with his first wife Cynthia and wrote several songs for The Beatles’ Sgt Pepper album is on the market with Knight Frank for slightly under £14m (Lennon bought it for £20,000 in 1964). Features include grounds of 1.5 acres, an indoor swimming pool and rather nice views of the Surrey Hills.
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